Does Sertraline cause fatigue?

In this article, we will discuss Sertraline-induced fatigue. We will discuss the incidence of this side effect and the possible mechanism through which it occurs. We will also discuss some management strategies to increase your energy levels. 

Does Sertraline cause fatigue?

Yes, Sertraline does cause fatigue or tiredness in some individuals. Many people who start taking Sertraline may initially experience fatigue. This feeling of tiredness can be more pronounced during the early days of treatment (1,2). 

In some cases, it can even lead to sleepiness. However, it’s important to recognize that Sertraline affects people differently. While it can induce fatigue in many, it may have different effects on others. 

Sertraline can also cause stimulant effects in certain individuals, leading to symptoms like insomnia and inadequate sleep at night, which can lead to fatigue or tiredness the following day (1,2). However, these side effects are temporary and do start to get better with time.

What does research suggest?

Research indicates that Sertraline-induced fatigue is a known side effect that some individuals may experience when taking the medication. This side effect is relatively common, especially during the early stages of treatment. 

The exact incidence can vary, but studies suggest that a notable portion of individuals starting Sertraline may initially encounter feelings of tiredness and fatigue. 

The mechanism behind this side effect is not entirely understood, but it’s believed to be linked to the way Sertraline affects neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin. Sertraline works to increase the availability of serotonin, which can impact mood regulation (3). 

However, the same mechanisms that influence mood can also play a role in regulating sleep patterns and energy levels. Disruptions in these systems could potentially lead to feelings of fatigue. 

Research suggests that as the body adapts to Sertraline and the medication settles in, the side effects of fatigue may improve over time. 

While Sertraline can initially cause tiredness, as the body adjusts and the medication takes effect, it might actually help alleviate the fatigue that is often associated with depression itself. 

A research study on SSRIs and their effect on fatigue suggests that these antidepressants don’t typically have a direct positive impact on fatigue itself, but they help with depression-induced fatigue (4). 

In a clinical study, Sertraline did show some fatigue improvement in depressed patients with multiple sclerosis and is preferred over other SSRIs for fatigue (4). 

What to do if Sertraline causes fatigue?

If you find that Sertraline is causing fatigue, it’s important to discuss it with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can evaluate your situation and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. 

Sometimes, they might consider reducing the dosage or recommend taking the medication at night to help alleviate daytime fatigue. 

However, if fatigue persists despite these adjustments, your doctor may suggest trying a different antidepressant that might better suit your individual needs. 

It’s important to remember not to discontinue Sertraline on your own without your doctor’s guidance to ensure your mental health treatment remains safe and effective.

Is there any remedy to reduce Sertraline-induced fatigue?

There are some lifestyle adjustments you can make to help reduce Sertraline-induced fatigue. First, consider having a cup of coffee in the morning to help combat drowsiness. 

Staying well-hydrated throughout the day can also improve your energy levels. Taking your Sertraline dose at night may help with daytime fatigue for some individuals. If you’re taking it in the morning currently, you can talk to your doctor about switching it to nighttime

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, so aim for a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. Eating a healthy diet with balanced meals can provide your body with the energy it needs. 

Regular exercise, even if it’s just a short walk each day, can boost your overall vitality. However, remember that the most important step is to talk to your doctor about your fatigue. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your routine or medication.


In this article, we have discussed Sertraline-induced fatigue. We have also discussed what research says about this side effect and what you can do to help reduce it.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from:


National Library of Medicine. Sertraline: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from:


Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from:


Marin H, Menza MA. Specific treatment of residual fatigue in depressed patients. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2004 Sep;1(2):12-8. PMID: 21197374; PMCID: PMC3012615.

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